Thursday, August 12, 2010

My Baby is now a Lady

My daughter’s life is out of my hands. I shivered as it slowly dawned on me how many challenges she’d face in the life I could not control.

Mothering is a mysterious task. First you create an intimate, all-consuming attachment with your daughter, then you spend the rest of your life learning to let go. At first you take care of your daughter’s every need, but gradually this shifts as she grows up. First you carry her in your arms, soon she’s walking on her own. Abruptly during the teen years it seems as if she doesn’t need you at all any more. I am no longer my daughter’s life source as she pushes for more independence. Painful as it is to go through, that’s the way it’s meant to be. It is my sacred duty to give your daughter roots to support her and wings to fly.

One of the first clues my daughter has started individualization—pulling away from her mother in order to find her own identity—is when she insists on commuting, instead of me driving her to where she wanted to go. At sixteen, she now takes the MRT and rides the jeep to school. I am really proud of her. I even boasted about it to my friends. But, up until that moment, however, I’d never considered how her determination to be her own person could impact me. I hadn’t considered how her thrust toward independence would shatter my security.

Up until that moment, I hadn’t realized how much I depended on my daughter—not only because she added meaning and purpose to my life—but because she was fun to be with. Mothers often ask, “What happened to my sweet, little girl?” All that has happened to her is that she's now a lady.



malditang inhinyera said...

i like this post.. it scared for a bit, specially the part where our baby tries to be on her own and choose her own path to maturity.. but in a way, it made me think as well, how hard it may have been for my mum too.. totoo nga yung sabi nila, "maiintindihan mo lang ako pag nanay ka na rin like me".. that's what my mum used to tell me..